Maintenance Of Certification

Maintenance of Certification: A Trusted Credential for Doctors

Board certification sets the standard for skills and experience in the field of medicine. Completing initial certification inspires trust: your patients feel more confident when their doctor has this credential. Maintaining your certification offers you an opportunity for professional development and lifelong learning, so that you can continually evaluate and improve your practice of medicine.

However, maintenance of certification is a major source of anxiety for many physicians. We’ve compiled some great resources to help you better understand and navigate all aspects of this process.

How the Maintenance of Certification Process Has Changed

In 2000, the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) began transforming their Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs. Their goal was to implement a model for continuous professional development that would demonstrate to their peers and the public a commitment to lifelong learning and to staying current with medical knowledge.

Physicians who want to be recognized as maintaining their certification must meet various MOC requirements over a 10-year period. Maintenance of Certification is not mandatory; you can choose not to participate and still maintain your state medical license to practice. However, there are compelling reasons to take part, as we’ve outlined below.

Why Participate in MOC?

Maintaining & Expanding Your Clinical Knowledge

Do you have the right information top of mind to make the best possible decisions for your patients? By fulfilling MOC requirements, you enhance your clinical judgment and skills that are essential for practicing safely and competently. You also assess your aptitude in topics relevant to your practice and refresh your knowledge where necessary. If you make the commitment — and use the right learning tools — the MOC process will make you a more competent, confident physician.

Professional Responsibility

Doctors share a responsibility to uphold the high standards of the medical profession. Maintenance of Certification helps. Board certification signifies mastery of relevant medical knowledge and the ability to provide superb patient care. It’s a seal of approval that assures fellow clinicians as well as hospitals, insurers, Medicare, health plans, and patients of a doctor’s excellence. And that’s a good thing for all practicing physicians.

Other Reasons to Participate

  • Maintaining board certification may lower your malpractice premium.
  • Many hospitals, insurers, and health plans are starting to make MOC a requirement for their doctors.
  • Efforts are under way to make participation more efficient by aligning MOC with other physician-reporting requirements.
The NEJM Knowledge+ adaptive online learning platform can help you meet your goals for Maintenance of Certification. NEJM Knowledge+ provides quality, peer-reviewed content, practice exams, and progress reporting, so that you can focus on what you need to know for board review. With desktop and mobile access, you can review wherever and whenever you need to. And because our program is accredited, you can “earn while you learn.”

Further Information on Maintenance of Certification

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